Metatalktail Hour: Unrequited Ask April 4, 2021 7:41 AM   Subscribe

From Bklyn wants to know, "How about questions you have asked in ask-me, but never got an answer to? Either because no one knew or you didn't formulate your question right - and maybe later you found out the answer?"

As always this is a conversation starter not a limiter, so let us know what's up with you, what you've been thinking about, doing, noticing, enjoying, considering ... anything but politics.
posted by taz (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 7:41 AM (62 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

My very first attempted post was an Ask that I framed poorly. It was deleted because chatfilter and my curiosity on the topic has never been sated. Here it is:

"Show me all about the Benjamins

Where do people named Benjamin end up?

Also curious about people named Phil, Angela etc. Please advise"

I am still curious to know if there have been any studies about the similarities or differences experienced by people with the same first name. Like obviously now there's the whole Becky/Karen/Amy thing but I'm still curious about how individual Amys are similar or different to each other. Maybe there's a field of study on this stuff and I'm just ignorant of it? Anecdotal stuff would be great too.

I don't know if I phrased that any better, but please advise. Thanks!
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 8:58 AM on April 4 [2 favorites]

Alas I still have no idea what’s wrong with my leg. Granted I haven’t really done a lot to figure it out since then.
posted by obfuscation at 9:48 AM on April 4

Literally no one said anything about this mysterious animated thing I saw once.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:50 AM on April 4

I would still like to see glassblowing but with cheese. (The last answer comes closest.)
posted by aniola at 10:06 AM on April 4 [4 favorites]

Content warning for everything but I swear that story is true. I would love to have proof.

Happy Easter!
posted by Mr. Yuck at 10:10 AM on April 4

I would still like to see glassblowing but with cheese.

I blow glass and have never considered pivoting to cheese. I have a feeling my torch is too big and hot so I'd definitely use a kitchen torch.. this is weirdly tempting. If I give it a go someday, I'll be sure to take a video and post it for you.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 10:33 AM on April 4 [10 favorites]

I still wonder about this creepy 80s TV memory.
posted by doift at 11:01 AM on April 4 [2 favorites]

My $600 stimulus check has still not arrived, though my $1400 one did. Haven't yet tried contacting my representative, per rednikki's suggestion, partly because it wasn't clear until very recently exactly who my representative was.

Still not sure if I want to contact my representative about this, but it's the only option from the AskMe that's 1) still an option and 2) not "keep waiting and maybe the check will arrive."
posted by Spathe Cadet at 11:15 AM on April 4

Yay!!!!!!!! Thank you so much!
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 11:43 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]

One of the articles in my search results suggested that "nominative determinism" might be a useful search term.
posted by aniola at 11:51 AM on April 4 [4 favorites]

Never figured out what the cool probably-bone I found on the beach was.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:05 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]

I remain frustrated by the lack of options for "fingerless" (really fingertip-less) gloves for people like myself who have different-length fingers.

I also never found more of the style of Latin-jazz music I asked about.

On the other hand, the answers to my mortal and pestle question were gratifyingly informative, so...ya win some, ya lose some...
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:24 PM on April 4

Still haven’t found this lyric. It was really good, too.
posted by clew at 12:42 PM on April 4

Out of 48 Qs so far I only have one unanswered:

Obscure paper on social instability from successive shocks CW: unless your area is war / conflict proceed with caution as my question goes down the conflict wormhole. I

I've had some amazing answers to the other 47 though.

flabdablet, secretseasons and gregr have kindly built me scripts and spreadsheets to help me parse and count my pixels, make digital contact sheets, and assign randomness to the gridlike-world of excel. These make the digital side of my work more fun and save me hours a week. Along the way I'm gaining a little familiarity with cmd, perl, python and imagemagick.
posted by unearthed at 12:54 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]

Some day I will stumble across this YA book about a girl who dresses as a boy, works at a baseball stadium, maybe owes money to the mob, and has an interesting encounter with a prostitute. Or maybe I'll just write it.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:01 PM on April 4 [4 favorites]

There were two questions which I never found the answer to - one stemmed from an article in the Village Voice I remembered reading in the early 90's about an Italian performer who came through NYC regularly (it seemed) and whose piece-de-resistance was balancing a piano on his chin. Balancing a piano. On his chin. (really? yes, really. I'd swear to it.)

The other was about a short story wherein the narrator's wife starts taking night classes at a community college, story writing, and one of the first stories she writes, a horrible story, is called (something like) "The Beast that ate Cleveland/Pittsburgh." She gets better at writing over time. The story is about learning to make art.

I'd give money to have either of those questions answered.

When we first moved to the US, we moved to Virginia, near the coast. It was a very (and surprisingly) eclectic social scene - lots of people who worked for NASA or other Gov. Agencies, and then the families that had the mansions on the water and at the other end of the county the 'Guineamen' who had a language and accent that had not changed in 300 years. Among the populace was "The Polish Count" who had married a 'local girl' - I think they had a place on Back Creek, off the Ware. I don't really remember much else about him, I think they left the area in the late 90's. Then again, it might well all be a fiction/figment of memory. I spent some time in Richmond, as well. Bought a basket full of late 60's British motorcycle in Petersburgh once. Komodo Dragon's, though, never figured into any of it. Seems entirely plausible, mind you.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:57 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]

I'd still like to find this robot cartoon
posted by chavenet at 3:31 PM on April 4

No one ever knew if this book I asked about was real: Ring any bells?
posted by vrakatar at 6:29 PM on April 4

I have two (but I answered the first one myself, in a mod-posted response, a year later):posted by Rash at 7:13 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]

I still seek more complete answers regarding bindis, a temple, a crowdsourced list of non-Amazon shops, and an aggregated way to search a person's local US political campaign donations across all fifty states, the territories, and all 3,000+ counties (Follow The Money has gotten some more info but is still not as comprehensive as I would like). The question I have asked that garnered zero comments: "Final exam question about how infotech can help oppressed poor people".

In other news: I'm working on my first book (a how-to for open source software contributors who want to become co-maintainers of legacy projects to help rejuvenate them). So I am currently reading Thinking Like Your Editor: How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction -- And Get it Published by Susan Rabiner & Alfred Fortunato. It's helping me think about audience and what larger publishers would want to see -- I also just read So You Want to Publish a Book? by Anne Trubek, which provided a more indie-publisher view and was reassuring in confirming a lot of things I already mostly understood.

Today I combined a few leftovers for a nice early dinner: leftover rice from an Indian food takeout order, roasted carrots and Brussels sprouts my spouse made, a bean stew my spouse made, and the spicy-salty-sour brine left over from a can of pickled jalapeños, plus some roughly-chopped dill.
posted by brainwane at 8:19 PM on April 4 [2 favorites]

You could further combine an appetizer and dessert into a single delicious tirami-soup.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:37 PM on April 4 [2 favorites]

I decided to look at old AskMes, to see what I had unresolved.
This question about a song came up, and I decided to just try searching for the lyrics again, just now.
Only like three results came up in my search, and one of those results was my question.
But someone else was curious, too, and asked about it on the page of some kind of electronic music festival. In fact, their question included not just the block of lyrics, but the previous two lines of my own AskMe question.
The answer, as it turns out, is "Mesa Drive" by one Jenifer Smith.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:38 PM on April 4 [5 favorites]

From Bklyn: I vaguely remember a guy on either "Real People" or "That's Incredible!" who balanced objects on his chin. I wonder if it was the same guy.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:43 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]

In 2017 I asked about going to the MotoGP race at the Twin Ring Motegi track in Japan and got one answer that suggested, essentially, “try googling it.”

Like...cmon, man, if you don’t know anything, don’t do me dirty like that.
posted by Sokka shot first at 11:52 PM on April 4 [3 favorites]

Regarding chavenet’s robot cartoon: could it be Blue, Child of Earth?
posted by nat at 1:43 AM on April 5

With regard to this question, I eventually did receive a response from the staff at BookShop West Portal, but Neal Sofman didn't have audio from the reading and couldn't recall whether the episode had ever aired.
posted by Strutter Cane - United Planets Stilt Patrol at 2:13 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]

I drank the wine because you didn't help me.
posted by emelenjr at 4:46 AM on April 5 [2 favorites]

The ones that still pray on my mind are:

1) About a lecture attended by William Gibson which profoundly influenced his world-view, and therefore most subsequent science fiction.

2) Who made my cup?

3) What song is this that goes ding?
posted by Kattullus at 6:38 AM on April 5

Never figured out what the cool probably-bone I found on the beach was.

I only ever studied human bones, but that is 100% bone, very probably a chunk of skull from the bridge of the nose (the two curved bits being the insides of the eye sockets), and I would guess mammal (something with a long head like a deer or a dolphin) but can’t be sure. Try sending it to on Instagram!
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:38 AM on April 5 [4 favorites]

Never figured out what this book was.

I made a little progress on this piece of choral music. I finally identified the tune completely by accident, it's from Verdi's I Vespri Siciliani, but I still have been unable to find the sheet music or a performance of the arrangement I remember singing in high school.
posted by JanetLand at 7:50 AM on April 5

I am absolutely still looking for this. Years later, I realize I should have mentioned that it was live-action. Still looking on the internet. Still have this weird internal thing that thinks it might have been "The Electric Company" but I have now absolutely searched that one all the way through.
posted by thivaia at 7:55 AM on April 5

JanetLand, could it have been one of the ballroom dancing sketches (called At the Dance) on the Muppet Show? Like this:
posted by wellred at 9:10 AM on April 5

I am absolutely still looking for this. Years later, I realize I should have mentioned that it was live-action. Still looking on the internet. Still have this weird internal thing that thinks it might have been "The Electric Company" but I have now absolutely searched that one all the way through.

Could it be Get Together Weather from the very weird live-action Dr. Seuss film The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T? The lady has on a puffy ball gown and one of the men is dressed "like a chimney sweep". It's the first thing I thought of from your description.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 10:06 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]

I asked three times about science fiction stories I'd read when young and had two answered. But not this one. I still wonder about that story and who wrote it. Maybe if I had written Viking-like warrior...
posted by y2karl at 12:45 PM on April 5

I'd still like to find this robot cartoon

Romie-0 and Julie-8 doesn't fit your requirements at all other than being animated, about robots, and being common on HBO/Showtime in the old days.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:21 PM on April 5

Robin of Frocksley, that is closer, but it was definitely like a dark drawing room and i’m almost certain the man was a chimney sweep because when they danced she got ash on her dress.
posted by thivaia at 3:01 PM on April 5 [1 favorite]

Kattullus, (1) This lecture is mentioned in Conversations With William Gibson.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:05 PM on April 5 [5 favorites]

I've had four AskMes fail. My question about a Hello Kitty song didn't generate any response at all. Three other questions about locating various media (a movie or TV sequence about stinky cheese, a book or short story about a boy who might have been a Martian, and a book where I might have learned some Chinese or Japanese) got answers, but none of them correct. And I'd still love to find out about all of those things.
posted by hanov3r at 4:09 PM on April 5

Still in search of 80s-90s corporate art of a beagle puppy eating a businessman. I wish I would've tracked down the former owners of the Hardee's when I saw they were turning the building into a video rental place.
posted by fussbudget at 9:18 PM on April 5

I continue the search for a bakery selling tamales near my neighborhood...
posted by calgirl at 9:45 PM on April 5

MonkeyToes: Kattullus, (1) This lecture is mentioned in Conversations With William Gibson.

But, maddeningly, she’s not mentioned by name. In another interview Gibson says he’s forgotten her name. This lecture might be one of the most influential scientific lectures in science fiction history, but the name of the anthropologist who gave it is seemingly lost in time.
posted by Kattullus at 10:50 PM on April 5 [5 favorites]

I remain two keywords short of a rubric. It's annoying that my memory punted the last two keywords. I used to teach this to people straight out of the magazine article and was well loved for it.
posted by bryon at 1:47 AM on April 6

Wow, just over 10 years since my first question on Ask!

I never did find a source for that humour metaphor.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 7:55 AM on April 6

My very first question remains unanswered, even though I asked it again a few years later.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:02 AM on April 6

jacquilynne, have you seen this list? Alaska Highway & Canol Bibliography

Baskine, Gertrude
Hitch-Hiking the Alaska Highway
Toronto: MacMillan, 1944, 1946.

Whishaw, Lorna
As Far As You'll Take Me: Hitchhiking to Alaska
New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1958.
posted by MonkeyToes at 10:17 AM on April 6 [1 favorite]

I had not -- I'll take a look in more detail. I don't think either of those are the book, but both sound great!
posted by jacquilynne at 10:36 AM on April 6

still no answer to my 1980s/90s US public-access TV clip show question aired in the UK that show a guy boiling eggs but pretending they were going to the swimming pool. I still remember his egg-voice screaming "aaah, we want t o get out now!"
posted by scruss at 11:11 AM on April 6 [1 favorite]

Not my question, but I experienced the exact same health issue as msali: a randomly hot foot. The problem randomly went away on its own, so I’m afraid I can’t offer any advice.
posted by Monochrome at 4:50 PM on April 6

Like Jessamyn, I never found out what kind of bones I found on the beach.
posted by dizziest at 5:19 PM on April 6

Jessamyn I can’t believe I forgot to mention the time-honored field test for whether something is made of bone: touch it to your tongue. The porosity of bone will make it stick to your tongue slightly. My osteology teacher told the class this and then immediately told us not to do it, but I definitely got the impression she had done it. I’ve tried it on some carved bone beads I have and it totally works.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:20 PM on April 6 [4 favorites]

A somewhat related comment by barchan once led me to immortalize the tongue's utility in scientific inquiry.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:58 PM on April 6

I never did find that article about the office loremaster.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:22 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]

I still don't know what this sci-fi story I read was.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 1:59 PM on April 7

I hope you all won't mind if I use this thread to give a shout out to Monkeytoes who, nearly a year after I asked it and didn't get an answer, notified me that someone else had asked the same question and the answer had been found! I was so grateful! Also impressed because it had been such a long time since I had posted the question.

And just to make this legit for this thread, I never did find the second video I was looking for.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 5:32 PM on April 7 [1 favorite]

I asked three times about science fiction stories I'd read when young and had two answered. But not this one. I still wonder about that story and who wrote it. Maybe if I had written Viking-like warrior...

That story kept bugging me today and I tried brute forcing my way through 1950s science fiction anthologies via Wikipedia. Until somehow I stumbled into scifi.stackexchange, joined, asked my question there and went to QFC to get some root beer. And came home to find the answer -- Time In the Round by Fritz Leiber. While it's not quite what I remember, I did get a lot of the details right -- which is not bad for a story I haven't reread since 1957.
posted by y2karl at 11:01 PM on April 7 [4 favorites]

Until somehow I stumbled into scifi.stackexchange

I did NOT know that was a thing, and they had the answer to my question about the possibly-Martian kid! THANK YOU.
posted by hanov3r at 8:42 AM on April 8 [3 favorites]

@bryon - Googling the remembered terms led me to a page that is probably a paraphrase, but gives the 5 steps as:

Step 1 – Start with a Preset Pattern
The pattern-seeking logical brain likes to know the order of things, so start with a preset pattern for the result you want to achieve.
Step 2 – Stuff Your Brain
Stuff your brain with all the information you can get on the subject.
Step 3 – Buzz Off
Take a break. Sleep on it, when possible. At least take a walk. Incubation is an essential step in any creative process.
Step 4 – Pour It Out
This is a no-wrong-answers brainstorming dump. Let the creative right brain take over to synthesize the material and develop a raw first draft. Suspend judgment.
Step 5 – Structure and polish
When you’re done, move to structure and polish. Now it’s time to haul out the left brain and set it loose to create the stellar report you want to produce.

Does this sound like the thing you're remembering? Maddeningly, the page I found it on is only accessible via Google cache - here's a link that you can hopefully see.
posted by Cheese Monster at 11:44 PM on April 10 [5 favorites]

(There is more description but no source reference at the cached page I linked to).
posted by Cheese Monster at 11:53 PM on April 10

Thank you, Cheese Monster!

In all my searching, even in the last year, I had never come across that page. This is very close to what I remember. "Pour" and "polish" don't sound quite right, but they may well be the words I'm looking for. They work, anyway. (They're sounding better the longer I think about them.) But given the remarkable similarities, I'm sure whoever wrote that piece had come across the one I had seen.

Thank you for filling in the gaps!
posted by bryon at 12:41 AM on April 11 [1 favorite]

bryon, here it is in a tidier presentation.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:17 AM on April 11 [1 favorite]

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